Stoke 1 Arsenal 0: Steven Nzonzi jibes Gunners by admitting they don't like it when you 'kick them a little bit'

Nzonzi was revelling after the Potters 1-0 victory on Saturday in which he said the Arsenal squad crack when you pressure them and get stuck in

Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi has admitted that the way to beat Arsenal is to “kick them a little bit” following the Potters 1-0 Premier League victory on Saturday. The defeat saw Arsene Wenger’s record at the Britannia Stadium remain at just one victory in the eight visits.

Speaking after the win, Nzonzi believes that the way to bring down the Gunners is to get stuck into them and make life uncomfortable for the league title contenders, who slipped behind Liverpool in the table after the defeat which leaves them four points off leaders Chelsea.

“We know that Arsenal play good football but when you start kicking them a little bit, it gets harder for them,” said Nzonzi. “They don’t like it, we know that. We don’t care. We’ll keep on doing it, being strong and trying to be as good as we can be on the ball.”

Arsene Wenger has publicly criticised Stoke’s tactics in the past when they were under the guidance of former manager Tony Pulis, in which he labelled their style of play akin to “rugby tactics”. The relationship between the two clubs is strained to say the least, following the horrific double leg break that Aaron Ramsey suffered at the Britannia in 2010.

 

Pulis may now be gone, but Mark Hughes now occupies the home dugout in the Potteries and his record against Arsenal is not too shabby – victory on Saturday saw Hughes become the first manager to beat Arsenal with four different clubs – and has put a serious dent in Arsenal’s title aspirations at the start of a tough March schedule.

Wenger couldn’t help but take a swipe at Stoke after the match, claiming they were “very lucky” to emerge victorious via a Jon Walters penalty after Laurent Koscielny was deemed to have handled the ball in the area – a decision that the 64-year-old Frenchman labelled “a gift”.

Wenger, the longest serving manager currently in the Premier League, also defended his side over criticism that they have developed of collapsing at the same point in the season. Their results over February and March were certainly below-par in 2008 and 2011, and in other season’s they have been knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup over the same period.

“Look at our results at the crucial point in the season and you would be surprised,” Wenger stressed.

“Somebody says something that is not checked and everyone repeats it and it becomes an opinion, even if the facts don’t show it. Our end of season has always been very strong.”

Across the period of February and March, Arsenal have recorded a win ratio of 54.8% since 2008, having won 40 of their 73 matches across the two-month schedule in each season. Perhaps more tellingly though is the number of defeats in that same time, with 17 losses outweighing their 16 draws. On the whole, a 54.8% win ratio isn’t going to do you any favours in securing silverware at the business end of the season, and with a number of those defeats coming in cup competition, it does show a tendency to slip up when it matters most.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments